It’s important for us to take a step back and start practicing gratitude during times of chaos when there is so much going on in the world today. There is no doubt with everything going on that it is easy to find things to stress over. Negativity heightens when chaos creeps up.
Stress, Chaos and Uncertainty
Unless you’ve been holed up in a bunker or living under a rock, you know times like we’re experiencing right now come with uncertainty, stress, anger and sadness.
Like you, I too have been feeling frustrated and sad over everything going on from the pandemic to BLM protesting.
Some days I feel so sad and defeated by the hate and lack of compassion we have for one another it’s hard to snap out of it.
Then this happened
The other day my honey sent me an email written by Maria Schriver from her Sunday Paper.
Here is the opening paragraph:
Something interesting happened to me the other day. Just after I had spent the better part of an hour talking about all the things I missed due to the pandemic, I stumbled upon an article talking about all the good things that people felt had happened to them during this time. It reminded me that perspective is everything.
She discusses how it’s so important to find the good amidst the bad or uncertain. It’s easy to lose hope when there are countless things going on in the world around us. Some in our homes, some outside of our homes.
Incredible things happen when we start practicing gratitude
In this post I mention some changes I’m making to my daily routine, practicing gratitude being one of them.
When we practice gratitude incredible things start happening in our lives. Here are some outcomes:
- We experience more positive emotions
- We feel more alive
- We sleep better (YES PLEASE!)
- We express more compassion and kindness
- Last but especially not least – we have stronger immune systems!!!
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling like we could use all the immune system boosts we can get right now during this pandemic.
How can you start practicing gratitude during times of chaos?
1. Find the good in what challenges you
Practicing gratitude during times of chaos is a great way to drown out the negativity. When we’re caught up in thinking about negative or difficult situations it really helps reveal what we have to be thankful for.
Challenge yourself to counteract every negative thought with a positive one on the flip side. There is always an up side in every situation, you just have to look for it.
If you think about your past challenges, you’ll find the good that came from them. I can’t tell you how many challenges I perceived as really bad when in fact, they prohibited something really devastating from happening.
Start to look for the good when you are in the “bad” moments.
2. Practice mindfulness
When you wake up in the morning, think of least five things you are grateful for from the day before. Self-reflect and picture those things as if they are happening again in the present moment.
Do this while you are in a comfortable space in your home and your body is relaxed. Make sure you do not have any distractions like others around you or technology staring you in the face.
Once you get in the habit of doing this every day, it will rewire your brain to feel more grateful as each day passes.
Challenge yourself to do this for at least a month and it will become a natural part of your daily routine without even thinking about it.
3. Keep a gratitude journal
This is one of my favorites. I love fresh notebooks with tons of blank pages waiting for words to be scribbled all over.
Journaling is a good practice for personal development, but it is also great for practicing gratitude during times of chaos.
After you have completed practicing mindfulness, grab a journal and write down the five things you came up with that you are grateful for.
If you want to take it a step further, write one goal for the day after the five items you have written down.
Writing what we are grateful for helps us focus on the good by taking our thoughts a step further and writing them down. When we can physically see them, they become more real than just living in our minds. It forces us to consciously think about the good without the bad distracting us.
I personally like to go back through my journal and reflect on what I was grateful for in the weeks or months prior.
4. Spend time with the ones you love
This is another one I love. Personally, there is nothing I am more grateful for than seeing the sweet smiling faces of the ones I love. It gives me a chance to practice gratitude on those I care about most and there is usually laugher involved, which is the best medicine!
Practicing gratitude on the ones you love will be contagious for them as well. You’ll set a good example for others to find the good.
Practicing gratitude can change your life in so many aspects for the better, especially during times of chaos. Implement these changes and then let me know how you’re doing after a few weeks. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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